It was hours before sunset Tuesday when I signed in to vote. In situations like this, and to the total embarrassment of my bride, I normally say something that I believe is side-splittingly hilarious to the people assisting me. The fact that no one ever laughs only proves my sense of humor is on a plane much higher than those who are blessed to hear it.
So I was on the way to asking the poll workers if they thought I'd have enough time to fill out the ballot before closing time. I've set up the joke by already pointing out that it was hours before sunset, and you folks already know there was only one decision to make on the ballot. Ho ho ho.
But rather than asking the question and waiting for hilarity to ensue, I decided to keep the joke to myself.
A couple of hours later, after I'd filled out the ballot, I saw an official-looking woman waiting at the box. She was reading from a script to another voter.
Then it was my turn. I listened, and when she got to the part about "Attention Voter" I'd had enough. (Actually, "Attention Voter" were the first two words she said, so you can see I have a low tolerance for some things.)
I declined to hear the rest of the speech, and then I declined to read it on my own. I don't remember what I said to the nice woman, who remained unfailingly polite while I remained unfailingly stubborn, but I think my comments had something to do with insulting the intelligence of everyone in the room, with the possible exception of that guy hanging out by the back door.
And all those helpers, the same folks I'd punished earlier by not sharing my fabulous wit with, were smiling and chuckling. I chose to believe they were agreeing with me, or that it was humorous because so many people had the same reaction. Or maybe they were laughing because they knew it was impossible to insult my intelligence.
So I'll ask you. When you voted Tuesday, did you feel like you were being treated like an idiot when a poll worker read this to you?
"Attention voter: By placing your ballot in the official ballot box you are casting your vote. Please be sure that you have voted your ballot the way you want to, and that you have not made too many selections in a race unless that was your intent."
Transation: We're talking down to you because you're not smart enough to do this right on your own ... unless you want to do it wrong on purpose. Then it's OK.
Now that I think about it, I realize the Elections Department was just doing my sophomoric humor routine for me.